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Mission Accomplished

Mission Accomplished
Mission Drive 2015 culminates with a wonderful Mission Drive Day

A smorgasbord of activities stirred in every corner of campus Friday (April 24) on Mission Drive Day, providing a fitting culmination to a sensational Mission Drive 2015 at Jesuit High School.

With an ambitious objective of raising $10,000 during the student-driven, month-long drive, Michael Miller ’09, Jesuit’s Director of Community Service, said when it’s all added up early next week he expects to be very close to the goal. Students raised money through collections made in homeroom each Thursday, a penny drive in the cafeteria, funds raised during Mission Drive Day, and various other donations.

5-5-15 UPDATE: Miller announced at Convocation that Jesuit students had exceeded the goal, raising $10,987.89!

All proceeds go to The Lord’s Ranch in the El Paso, Texas area (where Texas and New Mexico border impoverished Juarez, Mexico) to assist with their critical youth programs.

Mission Drive Day began with a compelling 45-minute music concert in St. Anthony’s Chapel led by music director Nina Wegmann. It opened with a moving rendition of the theme from Jurassic Park and closed with a stirring performance of “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay, featuring violinist Spencer Whipple ’16. (The music department will hold its full Spring Concert on May 1 at 7:00pm in the Multi-Purpose Room.)

For the next several hours students paid a few dollars toward the Mission Drive to participate in their choice of events, including a bocce tournament (won by Michael Schmeling ’16 and Michael McHale ’16), a cinco soccer tournament (won by Harrison Astorquiza ’16, Connar Lufkin ’16, Brian Benko ’16, Trevor Brown ’16, and Noah Kurtz ’18 ), a lavish food sale in the cafeteria, the “Mission Madness” basketball tournament (won by the “’04 Pistons” team), a ping pong tournament (won by Connor Mueller ’15), a cornhole tournament (won by Connor Flaharty ’15 and John Petrick ’15), multiple video-game tournaments, movies, an Ultimate Frisbee tournament, “Pancake Paradise,” mini-floor hockey, and more.

At the end of the day the entire school convened in the Tiger Palace to watch the faculty/staff basketball team led by Miller, who drained three 3-pointers, and Fr. Vincent Capuano, S.J.  knock off the student champion team, the ’04 Pistons, 45-39.

On March 24, Miller launched the Mission Drive, explaining the incredible work being done at Our Lady’s Youth Center, which operates The Lord’s Ranch, and the history behind it. Founded by 1945 Jesuit High School graduate Fr. Rick Thomas, S.J. (Fr. Thomas died in 2006 and has begun the process of canonization), The Lord’s Ranch serves the destitute on both sides of the border in the very dangerous locale.

To provide an alternative to the overwhelming prevalence of gangs, The Lord’s Ranch recently started a youth soccer team. It has helped many kids already, and Miller read a heartfelt testimonial about a 14-year-old named Alonso who has benefited tremendously from joining the soccer team. The Lord’s Ranch soccer program is in need of funding to help keep it going, and to help it provide an outlet for as many at-risk youths as possible, and Mission Drive proceeds will be dedicated to sustaining this program.

View a photo slideshow from Mission Drive Day below, or click here:

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